Grant funding for 3D-printed paediatric heart models

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Congenita has been named a recipient of the MedTech NAVIGATOR Innovation Grant Scheme, run by NHS medtech innovation consultancy Health Enterprise East (HEE).

Supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and managed by HEE, the MedTech NAVIGATOR programme will provide critical funding to Congenita, which generates personalised homograft templates from perioperative images, which are 3D printed to help paediatric heart surgeons design homograft patches to widen major blood vessels intra-operatively.

MedTech NAVIGATOR Innovation Grants are designed to foster joint working and easier knowledge transfer between innovative SMEs like Congenita and eligible knowledge providers, such as NHS Trusts or universities. By facilitating closer collaboration, the programme aims to enable a more efficient and seamless product development process that will significantly shorten the time it takes for this much-needed medical technology to get to market.

Funding from the Innovation Grant Scheme will be used to test Congenita’s proposed workflow on pliable 3D printed models. These models will enable quantitative geometric comparison of surgeon and software-assisted arch reconstructions. The trials will prove Congenita’s central hypothesis that the templates help surgeons to augment major blood vessel geometry on first attempt, ultimately reducing the mortality rates in children born with heart defects.

Nidhin Laji, CEO, Congenita, comments: “We were in a classic catch-22 situation that many MedTech companies find themselves in: you need funding to validate your concept, but your concept needs to be validated in order to gain funding. Our simulated trial on 3D printed models provides a step around that paradox, and funding through the MedTech Navigator programme is critical to its feasibility. HEE have been very supportive partners, especially through the uncertainties that COVID-19 has brought to our trial.”


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